South-South Govs endorse States’ collection of VAT, join suit at Appeal Court  

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The South-South Governors at the consultative meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on  Monday, endorsed the collection of Value Added Tax (TAX) by states. The governors also decided to join the suit at the Court of Appeal instituted by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), seeking to upturn  the judgement of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which empowered stares to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).

Chairman of the South-South Governors Forum, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, at the end of the meeting of the Forum at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, read the communique of the meeting which include the establishment of regional security stricture by South-South states.

The South-South Governors urged the National Assembly to urgently review and amend sections of the Petroleum Industrial Act that were controversial.

The governor argued that the amendment has become expedient to clarify the definition of a host community, including transfer of the power to appoint the trustees to state governments.

The South-South Governors further urged  President Muhammadu Buhari to operate within the law that established the Nigeria Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and appoint a substantive board of the commission.

The governor also urged the federal government to make public the report of the forensic audit of the NDDC submitted to the President by the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio.

The South-South Governors demanded that the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and head offices of international oil companies be relocated to the states in the Niger Delta.

“The request has since been made during a dialogue between stakeholders in the geopolitical zone and a Federal Government delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari,” the governors declared.

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State was absent at the meeting.  Governors present at the meeting include Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, and Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.